George MacDonald(1824-1905), Poet and novelist
Sitter in 17 portraits
Though no longer well known, George MacDonald's works, particularly his fairy tales and fantasies, have inspired many writers including W.H. Auden, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton. MacDonald began his life as a clergyman, but he turned his attention to writing. He initially attracted notice for poetry and his adult fantasy, Phantastes, but once he turned to the writing of realistic novels in the early 1860s, his name became widely known. Over the next thirty years, he wrote some fifty books, including novels, poetry, short stories, fantasy, sermons, essays, and a full-length study of Hamlet. After his death, MacDonald's reputation gradually declined, and most of his books are now out of print.